, 3:282 | Cite as

Tattoo Pigment Interpreted as Lymph Node Metastasis in a Case of Subungual Melanoma

  • Steven L. PetersonEmail author
  • Lela A. Lee
  • Kagan Ozer
  • James E. Fitzpatrick


We present a patient with subungual melanoma of the thumb who, during radioisotope-guided selective sentinel lymphadenectomy, was found to have black, hard lymph nodes at multiple axillary node levels. This finding was interpreted intraoperatively as clinical evidence of metastasis and a formal axillary dissection was carried out. Pathological examination of excised nodes failed to demonstrate metastasis but instead showed collections of tattoo pigment.


Melanoma Tattoo Pigment Sentinel node 


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Copyright information

© American Association for Hand Surgery 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven L. Peterson
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lela A. Lee
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kagan Ozer
    • 1
  • James E. Fitzpatrick
    • 3
  1. 1.Hand Surgery Section, Departments of Orthopedics and SurgeryDenver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Dermatology and MedicineDenver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  3. 3.Alpine Hand and Peripheral Nerve SurgeryGrand JunctionUSA

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